New look for fishing comp amid Covid-19 pandemic
THIS year's Boyne Tannum HookUp may not include a fishing competition element, but anglers are still urged to drop a line from May 1-3.
The committee this week announced the event would still go ahead but with a live-streamed prize draw instead of the gathering at Bray Park.
It will not feature a fishing competition component.
President Jennifer McGuire said the committee considered several options, including cancelling, postponing or hosting the competition with multiple weigh-in locations so crowds did not meet at Bray Park.
But with measures strengthened daily to prevent the spread of Covid-19, she said they could not put their volunteers at risk of being exposed to potentially several hundred people a day.
"Brag mats were another consideration, however in order to do that you would need a unique sticker or identifier, which (entrants) would have had to collect from a volunteer," she said.
"What the decision was based on was to meet the ever-increasing requirements of this pandemic.
"To postpone was out of the equation quite quickly, because based on medical professionals' feedback they're saying this could go on for six months."
Ms McGuire encouraged residents to still enter the competition to have a one in 3000 chance to win an $85,000 boat.
She encouraged people to still go fishing during the long weekend, and brag about their catches online.
"HookUp is about family fishing and we're not stopping you from going out fishing," she said.
"Get out, take photos, share them on Instagram with the hashtag Boyne Tannum HookUp and Gladstone Region and show the rest of Australia that coronavirus can't stop us."
Ms McGuire said the decision would also put them in a good financial position to still deliver the 2021 event.
"If we cancelled this year's event we might have ended up financially in a worse position … We've already paid deposits to some small local businesses who are involved and others we've paid upfront," she said.
"Right now businesses are struggling and they might not be in a position to refund.
"So the committee voted unanimously to share some joy in this uncertain time and have people still participate even if they are socially isolating."
This year, people can register for a chance to win a boat while sitting in their own home, and collect it over the three days the competition would normally be held, or within a week.
She said the pandemic had highlighted for the committee the need to future-proof the competition.
For more information or to register, go online to boyne tannumhookup.com.au.